Pop vs. soda vs. whatever

soft drink map

Soda vs pop vs coke (click to enlarge)

(Updated May 19, 2013)

It’s hard to imagine anyone spending much time browsing the Internet without coming across the colorful coke-pop-soda map, the one showing the preferred term for a carbonated drink in each U.S. county. I did a post on it myself about two years ago and then as now wondered what some of the “other” answers were. If people didn’t say coke, pop, or soda, what did they say?

Today I stumbled across a page that has compiled and is still compiling those answers (including some from Canada). “The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy” was created by Alan McConchie, who apparently was as curious about all those “other” answers as I was. He is still collecting information* on the site if you want to add your two cents’ worth. In addition, his version of the map I’ve shown here is clickable, with stats from each county.

“Pop” or “soft drink,” is what I usually say (I was raised in Oklahoma City), and “soft drink” is the #1 “other” answer. Rounding out the top five are 2. tonic, 3. soda pop, 4. drink, and 5. tarzan slam.

Never in my life, at least not in the parts I remember, have I heard of a tarzan slam.

.

*On May 19, 2013, the site was not available on Google. A cached copy of the survey’s results was still available.



Categories: Culture, language

Tags: , ,

15 replies

  1. I never stop being amazed at the regional differences in my country. I’ve been all over America and have personally encountered lots of variations on this theme, but the “tarzan slam” was definitely NOT amongst them!

    Another thing I’ve learned from my travels is that you never know what you’re gonna get when you order a “sub” at a sandwich shop. Among the strange things that came back was a deliciously large sandwich with bacon, chicken and ham I got in Florida. I also got back a weird steak and cheese thing with bean sprouts on it, somewhere in Pennsylvania (I think). Where I’m from, the “Italian” part was always just assumed – at least until “Subway” shops started popping up. Oddly enough, their “Italian” sub is about the worst thing on the Subway menu!

    • Oh, I like Subway’s Italian sub. But then, most of my life I haven’t had access to true, delicious deli subs like those found in the Northeast. Is “sub” that what they call them in the NE? I don’t recall. I’ve heard sub, gyro, hero, grinder, and probably others, but couldn’t tell you now which names went with which regions.

      The only “tarzan slam” I might have encountered would have been in an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.

      • Would that be the WWE version of Edgar Rice Burroughs? 😆

        I don’t recall ever hearing the term “sub” before moving here to Ohio, and I’m really not sure how far it reaches. I do recall “hoagie” being used somewhere (I thought it was in New York or Boston), but according to Submarine sandwich – Wikipedia, that term traces to the Philadelphia area.

        • OMG, stay tuned for the next WWE star!

          Hoagie! I knew I was forgetting at least one. Those map guys need to do a map on these sandwiches.

          Wait! Po’ boys. Gotta get them in there, too. Oh nvm, Wikipedia says there are at least 13 different names.

        • Fun post Pied Type!

          Cracked up at the WWE comment Izaakmak.

          Dad was from Pittsburgh. He and my mom (from Iowa and then Pttsburgh) always said ‘pop’ for a soda. Hoagie and Grinder were what dad referred to ‘subs’ as.
          They raised me in LA so I heard soda and subs from friends, but the opposite from family. when I moved to NYC I began referring to pizza as simply ‘pie.’
          People look at you strangely anywhere else when you say you’re going to pick up a pie….with olives and garlic..

          • Wow, this is a blast from the past. Now you’ve gone and inspired am “Sub-Mania” – I still haven’t gone back to Tommy’s for the best (Italian) sub in the land! *DROOL*

            • oh sure! and it’s time for a midnight snack. Reno isn’t known for it’s gourmet food. Although… I could always jump in the car, drive downtown and get an Awful Awful. The BEST burger ever, and I’ve lived everywhere from LA to NYC. You can only get one at The Little Nugget; a run down smoke filled old casino on the main strip. Open 24 hours and a line even at 4:00 am.
              Damn though! I’d kill a pet (not mine!) for a decent Italian Sub -drools along with you-.

            • Awful Awful burger sounds just awful enough to be good. These days I’d kill for a good burger. Nobody seems to do them they way they used to be (before the gubmint stepped in and started telling businesses how to cook). Been looking for a great onion burger, in particular, ever since I left Okla. City. I did a whole other post on them.

            • oooh you’d love this place. you can order your burger bloody raw if you’re so inclined -grin-. Nevada is ALL bad heh

            • I’m in. Never cared for gambling or night life but eating is a whole different thing!

  2. It all goes to show that the United States is just a collection of tribes. Heck, I could have told you that just by politics!

    Now, what about sofa, divan, settee, davenport, couch and chesterfield? Oh, and Tarzan sling of course. 😆

  3. We call them fizzy drinks here. When someone arrives for a party we say:”something alchoholic or a fizzy drink?”
    Very Julie Andrews.

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